WARRIORS captain Hardlife Zvirekwi remains confident of progressing from their group despite the 1-0 defeat to Zambia in a Group D African Nations Championship (Chan) opener on Tuesday.BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The Caps United utility player is the only survivor from the squad that played at the previous Chan tournament in which they finished at the semi-final stage in South Africa.
Speaking after the defeat, Zvirekwi said they were not losing hope, as they still had chances of progressing to the next stage of the tournament designed exclusively for home-based players.
He said the match against Zambia was balanced and they were unfortunate to lose. He said his troops were champing to the bit for the next match against Mali on Saturday.
“I think it was fair, but it’s unfortunate we lost. We have to pick ourselves up. We shouldn’t lose hope because the group is still very much wide open. We have to work hard to force our way into the next stage. All the guys are pumped up for the next match and we hope to get a good result,” Zvirekwi said.
The Warriors, who wasted a number of opportunities to score and allowed Zambia victory through veteran forward Isaac Chansa, will be praying fervently that Zambia win their next two matches against Uganda and Mali, while they do their part to beat Mali and Uganda.
That sequence of results will see the Warriors finishing second in their group behind Zambia.
Zvirekwi was handed the captain’s armband by coach, Kalisto Pasuwa following the injury to skipper Danny Phiri who withdrew from camp just days before the team left for Kigali.
Zimbabwe has made an appearance at every edition of the tournament since inauguration in 2009.